Guests booked on December sailings of Royal Caribbean International’s Odyssey of the Seas have had their travel plans changed, as the cruise line has altered sailings due to berthing conflicts at the ship’s homeport. These changes affect departures from December 17-31, 2022.
December 17 Cruise Radically Altered
The December 17, 2022 Odyssey of the Seas sailing has been dramatically changed and will now be departing Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida one day earlier, on December 16.
The notification email explains the reason for the departure date shift. “Due to a berthing conflict in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we’ve made some modifications to our itinerary planning,” the email read. “We know this news is disappointing and apologize for the impact to your cruise.”
Furthermore, unconfirmed reports are noting that this particular cruise will now be a 6-night sailing rather than a 7-night cruise, but as the sailing is no longer available for new bookings at this time, this information is not yet verified.
It is possible that plans are still being adjusted and confirmation will be sent to booked guests and travel partners as soon as arrangements are settled.
The original December 17-24 cruise was to have called on Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and CocoCay, The Bahamas, with two days at sea.
The revised 7-night itinerary will still call at the first three ports and feature two days at sea, but the visit to Royal Caribbean International’s private island destination, CocoCay, has been removed. If the cruise does need to be shortened by a day, it is possible one of the sea days will also be removed.
As the cruise industry continues to restart, new ship schedules and deployment changes may cause further berthing conflicts, not only in homeports, but also in ports of call. Port operations, such as construction, dredging, and other shipping traffic, can also cause conflicts that may require itinerary changes.
Just weeks ago, Port Everglades announced the approval of a new Disney Cruise Line terminal, and it is possible the construction for that massive renovation could be impacting other cruise line’s schedules later this year.
Compensation for Impacted Passengers
Because not every guest may be able to accommodate the change in travel plans, Royal Caribbean International is offering a couple of compensation options.
Guests can remain booked on the now December 16 departure, which will be the default option with no further action needed on guests’ part. Bookings will automatically protect the same stateroom aboard the new sailing.
If guests are able to keep their reservation on the new December 16 departure aboard Odyssey of the Seas, the cruise line will reimburse passengers for non-refundable, pre-purchased transportation change fees for airlines, rental cars, or rail fees in order to help guests reach the cruise. Up to $300 (USD) will be reimbursed per guest for domestic changes, or up to $500 for international changes.
Guests who prefer to transfer to a different sailing, whether onboard Odyssey of the Seas or another Royal Caribbean vessel, the compensation will be $200 for domestic fees and $400 for international changes. If passengers do change to a different sailing, they will be responsible for any differences in the overall cruise fare.
Guests can also opt for a full refund, processed back to the original form of payment, if preferred. Details about other December Odyssey of the Seas sailings will be sent to impacted guests as they are confirmed and options become available.
Stay tuned to Cruise Hive for further updates on these evolving scheduling changes.